Network access provider Altusen is on a North American push to bring resellers and systems integrators to the KVM table.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company has unveiled a new three-tiered channel partner program, which is geared at resellers who are supporting the IT local and remote network

access KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) market.

Essentially, KVM switches allow multiple computers, workstations or servers to be controlled by a single keyboard, monitor and mouse. Analysts say the benefits of using KVM include improved network administrator efficiency, reduced data centre space consumption and reduced costs in terms of purchasing equipment.

“”Basically KVM is a way for IT administrators and managers to monitor, manage and do fixes to their LAN network by providing a portal in which they can look at all of the servers and the peripherals on the network,”” says Jan DeSantis, VAR sales manager at Altusen.

“”It’s not a driver or a hub, it’s just an area in which they can locally monitor everything.””

DeSantis says the company is going after the enterprise market and taking a different approach in terms of trawling for VARs. “”Instead of going after VARs and calling it the KVM market, what we’re actually going after are resellers in the IT local and remote monitoring industry.””

The company is seeking partners who have outside sales force and technical support teams. The company’s first national reseller to join its partner program is El Segundo, Calif.-based Enpoint Technologies.

And while Altusen’s parent company (Aten) has been designing and manufacturing KVM switches (like a basic printer switch) for more than twenty years, the technology has now advanced to be able to audit, monitor and manage servers on a huge network, Desantis says. “”Our competitors have been in this industry as long as we have, but just not in this high-end area.””

Indeed, the KVM market surge has paralleled the growth of networking and the Internet, she says, indicating the KVM market is expected to be worth more than US$800 million by 2006.

“”Instead of going after the retail business or SOHO, this is marketed at the medium or high-end corporate end users who have large scale networks, large scale data rooms, or even those who have a small data room, but they need to remotely monitor what is going on in the network.””

As such, Altusen wants to partner with VARs that are experienced in supporting data centres with rackmount monitoring solutions, she says, indicating the company technology is dubbed KVM on the Net, which is a combination of hardware and software. “”This makes it a one-item solution that can be sold and installed directly into an existing LAN facility and will give the company remote monitoring.”” She says competitors tend to sell the solution differently. “”They sell the hardware and then sell user’s license fees for the software.””

Altusen also plans to market its program and solutions a bit differently into the Canadian market, she says. “”We realize we have to do things a little bit differently in terms of marketing, and perhaps do different discounting to support the dollar differential between Canada and the U.S.”” Although company names were not available at press time, DeSantis says Altusen is looking to strike alliances with specific VARs in key Canadian regions, including the West Coast and Central Ontario.

For more information on Altusen’s channel program, visit www.altusen.com.

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